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UNC alumni reunite in band 'Megayacht'

contrib-lifestyle-megayatch-band-feature
The members of Megayacht pose for a photo together on Oct. 15, 2023.
 Photo Courtesy of Mitch Bennett.

In 1995, a group of UNC students formed a funky alt-rock band called Anna to the Infinite Power. 

Decades later, some of the band's members are making their return as Megayacht, with six new songs to be released over the next few months. 

Their latest, "Wanted To Be There," came out on Oct. 6.

The current band consists of four members: singer and rhythm guitarist Mitch Bennett, bassist and backup vocalist Matt Blanchard, guitarist Kevin Jenkins and drummer Frank Peveler. 

Over the years, the members have crossed paths through different bands with differing member lineups. 

“We're sort of like a brand new band that's been playing together for 25 years off and on, but never in this lineup at the same time,” Bennett said.

Bennett, Blanchard and Jenkins were a part of the original Anna to the Infinite Power and, following its dissolution, Blanchard, Jenkins and Peveler formed a band called The Orange County Daredevils. Later, Bennett, Jenkins and Peveler played in The Experts.

In the '90s, Anna to the Infinite Power was especially notable for one particularly unusual detail: They had a website.

“I just remember The Daily Tar Heel did an article about a show we were gonna have at the Cat's Cradle, and it was like, ‘One interesting thing about the band is they have a webpage on the worldwide web,’” Bennett said.

When Anna to the Infinite Power first formed in 1995, Jenkins was one of the few individuals who knew how to create a website, having learned HTML during his time at Appalachian State University.

Jenkins said he was interested in coding at this time and created websites through access to space on the servers at the university.

“I was at App State for two years before transferring to UNC, and they had these five Sun SPARCstations that were, like, the most powerful computers,” he said. “And they're connected to the internet and they weren't available to everyone, so I had to get permission through the university to access them.”

After getting his Spanish professor to write him a recommendation letter allowing him to use the computers, Jenkins said he learned how to create websites. He said he went on to create sites for bands like the Pixies and Mazzy Star, along with Anna to the Infinite Power.

Now, the band has no trouble promoting their music online and through social media apps like TikTok.

“It's just kind of interesting, how different it is — but kind of almost exactly the same,” Bennett said.

Throughout the years, the men’s lives have taken them in many different directions and locations. Currently, Jenkins leads engineering at a tech consulting company, and Blanchard works in UNC’s genetics department.  Peveler manages stores for a plumbing supply company, while Bennett works in advertising and teaches at UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media.

Bennett recently returned to the area, and the four friends were reunited. Finally, they are able to create and perform music all together again. 

“We're all really good friends, so it's just very natural for us to want to get back together,” Blanchard said. 

Growing up with a strong love of music inspired the members to create and perform their own songs and served to keep all of them connected.

“It's weird at the end of college and you go off, and it's like, ‘Oh, man, is that all over?’” Bennett said. “But, music is something that's so easy to stay connected over and just share a link or say, ‘Hey, have you heard this band?’ or ‘I just saw the show,’ and we've just always stayed in touch, and that's been one way to do that and stay connected.”

Megayacht will perform at Local 506 at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8. 

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@sydneybrainard

@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com